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5 Years of the Aven Cycle
Also: Some news and changes for this Substack!
Happy birthday to From Unseen Fire!
From Unseen Fire came out in April 17, 2018, which means… Wow. Five years! The Aven Cycle is a kindergartner!
They were, in so many ways, not the five years I expected to have, but as I mentioned last month, while the road has been bumpy, there’s been a lot of achievement in there, too.
I’ve fretted a lot about not getting books out fast enough, both because of my drafting process and because of my various publishing tribulations, but y’know, three books in five years is not bad! I’m so proud of what I’ve learned in that time, and I’m so incredibly grateful for all the amazing friends I’ve made during the journey.
And y’know what? These books keep chugging on! My agent said when From Unseen Fire came out that he thought it would have a long tail, and he’s been right. That’s something else I’m really proud of, because it speaks both to the strength of the book and, frankly, to my own tenacity as a member of #TeamTooStubbornToQuit. Publishing is about endurance as much as anything else, and steadiness wins the race.
Now I just need some HBO or Netflix producer to pick it up and love it, too. ;)
I am, at the time of writing this, still in Twitter Jail! I did create a secondary account, @AvenCycle, but it’s slow going, and, honestly, I’m half-hoping that Twitter’s about to finally collapse like a flan in a cupboard and set us all free. It’s sort of feeling like total collapse will be necessary to force full migration.
I’m moving a lot of my online focus elsewhere. I’ve been in the process of doing that for a while, but I’m definitely accelerating the effort now. I’ve started using Notes, as you may have already noticed, and while I’m not going to proclaim it “the new Twitter” yet, anymore than Mastodon, Post, Hive, Spoutible, or anything else proved to be the new Twitter, I’m giving it a go. (Although I do think the management around here needs to do a lot of hard thinking when it comes to content moderation.)
And here’s the big news: I’m opening this Substack up to paid subscriptions!
The newsletter will always be free! As will other big posts that I want to go to a broad audience.
So, why should you get a paid subscription?
Well, maybe you just like supporting creative people. In which case, you’re officially awesome! Congratulations, you modern-day Medici!
Every dollar I earn here, like those I currently get on Patreon and Ko-Fi, feeds directly back into my writing life. Subscriptions help me pay cover designers, pay my editor, buy ads, order proof copies of paperbacks, pay for my website, and all the other things that keep the business side of life as a writer going.
But I also believe in giving value when people invest in me. (Well, the real story there is probably my pathological need to use my productivity to prove myself useful and thus worthy of attention, in a very “Surface Pressure” kind of way. But you, my subscribers, get to benefit from that!)
So here’s what paid subscribers will get access to:
Behind-the-page looks at my writing process and publishing life
First look at things like cover art
Sneak peeks at the books I’m working on
Early drafts of scenes from the Aven Cycle
Musings on history and mythology
Rhetorical explorations of Shakespeare, musicals, poetry, and speeches
If you already subscribe on Patreon or Ko-Fi, that all probably looks familiar! I’m going to start mirroring content here, as well as pulling some older pieces over and revisiting them. (So, if you’re on one of those platforms but would like to consolidate, you could switch your membership over to here and still get the same posts).
Scribendi is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
“Okay, Cass, that sounds like a lot of emails,” I hear you say. Yeah, I feel you. This will probably work out to 1-2 emails a week! I usually post 2-3 times a week on Patreon and Ko-Fi, but one of those is almost always the Mages of Aven microfiction. Because Substack is a different kind of platform, I may save those up and post them here in digests, five or ten at a time, rather than every week. The newsletter will still come out more-or-less monthly, maybe only quarterly in seasons when I find myself with less news to share.
And, just because I’m curious:
Springtime means con season! This very weekend, I’ll be at RavenCon in Richmond, VA, with the following schedule:
Friday, 6 pm: Panel - NaNoWriMo
Saturday, 11am: Reading from The Bloodstained Shade
Saturday, 1 pm: Panel - RavenCon Anthologies
Saturday, 2pm: Signing - RavenCon Anthologies
Saturday, 4 pm: Workshop - Shall We Dance?
Saturday, 6pm: Panel - Historical Fantasy and Fantastical History
Sunday, 12pm: Reading from RavenCon Anthology
Sunday, 2 pm: Panel - Costuming Characters in Your Writing
I’m really excited about the dance workshop, as it’s a totally niche thing that I haven’t done in a few years:
Then, the first weekend in June, I’ll be in Charlotte, NC for ConCarolinas. Schedule TBD, but they had some super-exciting things on their proposed list!
Recent Posts Elsewhere
Well, there was the whole being-in-Twitter-jail thing.
On the podcast side of things, Worldbuilding for Masochists just celebrated its 100th episode! I haven’t been on for all of those, of course, since I came on in the second season, but it still seems somehow impossible that we’ve been going that long!
To help newcomers navigate, we’ve added an Episode Sampler with some of our favorite episodes and those that we feel best represent the podcast. So if you haven’t tried us out yet, the sampler is a great place to start.
Slides and handout from a workshop I did on creating systems of magic for your fantasy fiction
Slides and handout for a workshop I did comparing the rhetoric of Shakespeare and Hamilton
My r/fantasy bingo challenge card for 2022
Mages of Aven microfiction featuring an Air mage struggling with augury, a Shadow mage who avoids glancing into the underworld, and a Water mage frustrated with unwanted attention
What I’ve Been Reading
A Tempest at Sea, by Sherry Thomas
A Sinister Revenge, by Deanna Raybourn
Story Genius, by Lisa Cron
Untethered Sky, by Fonda Lee
Furious Heaven, by Kate Elliott
These are affiliate links and, if you use them, I’ll make some small profit from Bookshop!
Wrapping It Up
So! We’re trying some new things here, and we’ll see how that goes. Until next time, I wish you happy reading!
Audaces Fortuna iuvat,